Tech for Campaigns: 2022 State Legislative Targets

Tech for Campaigns is working with the most competitive state legislative races this cycle to flip, gain and defend swing-district seats needed to protect Democracy.

Nearly all of the country’s state legislatures are holding elections this cycle, the results of which will impact access to reproductive healthcare, LGBTQIA+ rights, gun safety, and the very integrity of our democracy. This is an opportunity for the GOP to seize further power and they are continuing to activate decades of investments in the states to pass far right-wing and extremism legislation. Although true at all levels of the ballot, this is especially true in state legislatures. 

Electing state Democrats is how we can protect our democracy. To do this, Tech for Campaigns harnesses the power of digital to turn out incremental voters in swing districts where the state and local races are often decided by a few hundred votes. We serve as a central repository of data from thousands of campaigns, and build tools that allow us to understand, act and scale digital strategies and best practices that help Democrats effectively compete in purple districts, where there is the greatest risk of losing a seat and/or opportunity to flip one from red to blue. 

Tech for Campaigns is working directly with competitive state legislative campaigns in key states, supporting digital strategy, training, and the execution of websites, email fundraising, digital ads, and texting. Our efforts have been focused in seven key chambers across five states where we are working to either gain, defend, or build Democratic power in more than 40% of the competitive races this cycle.

Gaining New Seats: Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania 

The Michigan State House, Michigan State Senate, Minnesota State Senate, and the Pennsylvania State House are all “flip targets” this cycle. With just a few seats gained in these chambers, majority control could flip: 

  • The Michigan State House has 110 seats. 53 are currently held by Democrats, just three seats are needed to flip this chamber. 
  • The Michigan State Senate has 38 seats. 17 are currently held by Democrats, just four seats are needed to flip this chamber.
  • The Minnesota State Senate has 67 seats. 31 are currently held by Democrats, just four seats are needed to flip this chamber.
  • The Pennsylvania State House has 203 seats. Democrats need to gain 14 seats to flip the chamber and have 89 seats to protect. 

With so few seats needed to see a power shift, TFC is focusing our efforts on competitive races in these states. These are races where Democratic candidates are expected to receive 47-53% of the vote share, and about 15% of the active races in these chambers are considered competitive. In an effort to transition majority control away from the GOP, TFC is currently supporting 31 Democratic candidates in these chambers.

One of these candidates is Jennifer Conlin, running to represent the newly drawn 48th District in Michigan. Jennifer’s race is competitive, and the seat she is vying for would be a major win for the Democrats. A longtime journalist, she has been writing about small businesses, tourism, healthcare, arts and culture, and economic development in Michigan. She’s running for office because she wants to do more than chronicle these issues in Michigan, she wants to resolve them in Lansing. 

In Minnesota, Brad Drenckhan is running to represent District 20 in the State Senate. His opponent is a January 6th insurrection supporter. If he wins, he’ll not only prevent an insurrection supporter from holding office, he’ll also invest in small towns and family farms, protect women and others under attack, and bring tax dollars back to the district. 

With TFC’s support, candidates like Jennifer and Brad can help to turn these key state legislative chambers from red to blue. 

Defending & Building Democratic Power: Minnesota, Georgia & Alaska 

Some of our key chambers this cycle may not be considered flip targets, but hold opportunities to either defend or build Democratic presence in state legislatures. The Minnesota State House, for example, currently has a Democratic majority but just the loss of just one seat would transfer power to the GOP. Nine races in that chamber are considered competitive in 2022.

In the Alaska State House and Senate we’re working to defend a delicate balance, and in the Georgia State House we are working to build long-term power. Of more than 550 races in these Republican controlled chambers, 11% are considered competitive. We’re working to help Democrats win those competitive races and ultimately to build power and infrastructure in these chambers over time.

Competitive districts across the country are disappearing following the lopsided redistricting and gerrymandering efforts of the past year. Maps have been redrawn to heavily favor the GOP, creating a challenging environment for Democrats, who now must work harder to turnout and persuade voters in notably more conservative districts. We’re helping to expand their reach and capacity by building out the digital components of their campaigns with strong websites, effective ads, and digital fundraising programs through email. Our ability to digitally connect like-minded voters to key campaigns can give newer and lesser-known candidates the ability to break through even against well-funded opponents. These increased connections will drive voter turnout and help swing-district candidates win.

We’re excited to be supporting candidates like Mokah Johnson in her race to represent District 120 in the Georgia State House. In a step outside of our normal scope of work, we’re also supporting Pat Chesbro in her race for the U.S. Senate in Alaska. Having a strong candidate like Pat at the top of the ticket will help inspire folks to vote down the ballot, ultimately helping us to build a presence in the state house and senate chambers.

The Republican party controls these chambers because they have spent years making investments in these states. Even if we are not able to take control of these chambers, supporting strong candidates like Mokah, Laurie, and Pat will be key to building Democratic infrastructure longer term.

Impact Outside the Legislature

Battles around key issues, like reproductive rights and book bans for example, are also happening outside of our state legislatures in places like our state Supreme Courts and our School Boards. TFC is also working to support candidates in those races this year, focusing on states like Michigan and Florida. 

In Michigan, we’re proud to be supporting Kyra Harris Bolden and Richard Bernstien’s historic campaigns for the Michigan Supreme Court. And in Florida, we’re helping candidates like Erin Dunne fight to protect school boards from groups like Moms for Liberty, the conservative 501c4 that has campaigned against COVID-19 restrictions in schools, including mask and vaccine mandates, and against school curriculums that mention LGBTQ+ rights, race, critical race theory, and discrimination. 

Before November 8, we hope to support many more candidates like Kyra and Erin. In fact, we’re aiming to engage with more than 40% of the competitive races this cycle. We cannot do that without your support. The clock is ticking on our ability to make a difference on everything from abortion and reproductive healthcare, to protecting our communities and democracy. Join us today to help us elect Democrats across the country who will work tirelessly on these issues and more.

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